Deep time travel: inside the mind of the intrepid palaeontologist as the rocks reveal their tale

Clark, N. (2008) Deep time travel: inside the mind of the intrepid palaeontologist as the rocks reveal their tale. Nature Geoscience, 1(567), (doi: 10.1038/ngeo293)[Book Review]

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When I read Trewin’s introduction I was intrigued by the story line of time travelling in a bus to study prehistory. It brought to mind the book I used to read to my daughter: The Magic School Bus in the Time of the Dinosaurs by Joanna Cole (1995). After the first few pages it was evident that Trewin has written a book that will very much appeal to the adult reader. He has taken his favourite Scottish fossil localities, built a picture of each landscape and environment at the time the fossils were alive, and brought us on a fact-filled adventure to prehistoric Scotland. We discover the delights of collecting at these classic fossil localities, and are entertained by the sounds, smells and feel of the living fossils from the Devonian to the Jurassic. This book will appeal to the same audience that enjoy Hugh Miller, the famous nineteenth century natural history writer and populariser of palaeontology who wrote The Old Red Sandstone; or,New Walks in an Old Field (1841). Sir Roderick Impey Murchison – the director general of the British Geological Survey in the mid nineteenth century - wrote that Miller’s book “to a beginner, is worth a thousand didactic treatises”. I believe that the same is true of Trewin’s book. Trewin bases his knowledge on facts extracted from publications dating back over 150 years as well as his own researches into the Rhynie Chert, Devonian fishes, as well as Carboniferous, Permian, and Jurassic fossils and palaeoenvironments. It is also apt that Miller and Trewin were both inspired by the fishes of the Devonian Period of the north of Scotland in their pursuit of palaeontological understanding.

Item Type:Book Reviews
Keywords:palaeontology, fossils, scotland, trewin, Devonian
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Clark, Dr Neil
Authors: Clark, N.
Subjects:Q Science > QE Geology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
College/School:University Services > Library and Collection Services > Museum and Art Gallery
Journal Name:Nature Geoscience
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN (Online):1752-0908
Published Online:01 September 2008
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2008 The Author
First Published:First published in Nature Geoscience 1:567
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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